Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer accused U.S. Postmaster Louis DeJoy of enacting policies designed to slow mail circulation.
Michigan is joining a multi-state lawsuit against the U.S. Postal Service.
The decision was announced Tuesday by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. According to the Detroit Free Press, Michigan is pursuing the Postal Service out of an abundance of caution–and concern that President Donald Trump is intentionally slowing down USPS operations to secure re-election.
The lawsuit, writes the Free Press, alleges some sort of collaboration—subtle or overt—between U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and President Trump’s re-election campaign.
DeJoy, states Michigan’s complaint, has enacted a number of policies designed to slow down postal operations and delay mail deliveries. Such policies have followed weeks of Trump complaining about the potential widespread use of mail-in ballots this election.
Despite evidence to the contrary, Trump has repeatedly claimed that mail-in ballots are susceptible to fraud and therefore compromise the integrity of elections.
And, since the end of July, the Postal Service appears to have responded to Trump’s complaints—by implanting policies which do little other than challenge its own ability to deliver mail on time.
A USPS mail truck. Image via Wikimedia Commons. Public domain.
The USPS had, for instance, attempted to limit employees’ ability to work and collect overtime pay; it also removed mailboxes from numerous sites across the United States, and seized sorting equipment from processing centers.
In a joint statement, Nessel—along with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson—said suing USPS is necessary to ensure everyone has the chance to cast a ballot this November.
“President Trump’s attempts to sabotage the U.S. Postal Service are deeply disturbing, and we intend to do everything in our power to mitigate their effect on Michigan residents,” Whitmer said, that mail delays cause problems that are not strictly political.
“Americans rely on our Postal Service for prescription drugs, voting, Social Security checks and more,” Whitmer said. “The president is putting families’ health and safety at risk in his attempt to suppress votes in the 2020 election. That’s why Attorney General Nessel, Secretary Benson, and I are fighting these unlawful changes to USPS operations to protect Michigan families.”
Attorney General Nessel explicitly accused DeJoy of trying to game the election in Trump’s favor.
“Recent actions undertaken by Mr. DeJoy are unlawful and indicate an attempt to disrupt and delay U.S. Postal Service operations,” Nessel said. “For more than 200 years, the postal service has been a fundamental part of the fabric of this country.
DeJoy, notes the Free Press, backtracked slightly on Tuesday, saying he would roll back some of the Post Service’s more controversial policy changes—including the aforementioned revocation of employee overtime pay and the removal of critical equipment from mail sorting centers nationwide.
“The Postal Service is ready today to handle whatever volume of election mail it receives this fall. Even with the challenges of keeping our employees and customers safe and healthy as they operate amid a pandemic, we will deliver the nation’s election mail on time and within our well-established service standards,” DeJoy said.
Michigan joins lawsuit against USPS, citing November election concerns
READ: Democratic state-led lawsuit against the US Postal Service